Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014 Swan Ride

There were no swans and we didn't really do the ride.....but we did gather at the Swan Place.  Dave and I gathered hoping our presence might in some way welcome the thousands of riders that had actually DONE the ride.  Fury Motors in South St. Paul fed those that were able to be up before breakfast.  The ride down (with warm-up stop) twisted its way the long way down to  Rieck's Park near Alma, Wisconsin.

I started out early because it looked so nice outside.  Looking at the thermometer on the house told me it was 2 degrees on the right side of freezing.  I went anyway and wasn't the only one out on two wheels, meeting these two in Lake City.

Crossing the tracks in Wabasha.....

Waiting for the UPS train to pass......

Almost to Alma and Rieck's Park......

I was prepared, 2 thermos bottles with hot coffee, cups and creamers (I take mine black).  The expanded Tail Bag held the refreshments and accoutrements.

Two eagles over the "Here".....

Nice mural, photo taken from the Lock and Dam.....

A few years ago the swans used to cover this area, making it almost completely white while stopping on their migration.

Doug, Sherry and Bill arriving.....

More.....this group a bigger one.

I selfied to prove that I'd actually plugged in this morning.....the Warm Bib felt mighty fine too!!

 Dave and I both shrugged our shoulders and chuckled.....they came and they went.


Nels is an old friend...we were in Trade School together years ago, both with a passion for riding.  He does a lot more of it than I do and though we both still ride after all of these years and see each other at events all over, we've never really ridden together.  We almost did today but not quite.  Nels and his buddy did have lunch at Pier 4 with us however.   Hopefully they found Eagle Valley and Canada Ridge on their trip home.

 It would have been a great afternoon for more miles but I came home to get some work done.


  1. Ah, the swan ride! It sounds like a great way to end the season and even better if you are plugged in. Alma's secret garden is intriguing enough to make it a destination. We had some very slight flurries Saturday morning, just a taste of things to come.

    1. For most of us if the bikes aren't in storage yet, they get there after this event. Always the first Sunday in November, it used to reliably be give or take around the time that the swans migrated back to the Chesapeake Bay. They still migrate, but the dates seem to be as varied as our weather (funny how that works?) and they seem to be stopping other places.

      I've heard about snow already in places that it doesn't belong. We're due for some rain/mix this week.

  2. Brrrr. So chilly when you left the house. Good thing you had the heated gear on.

    I passed up an opportunity for dirt riding yesterday as it was 43 degrees and rainy. Brad and PolarBear went out. They managed 5 miles of riding on trails before PolarBear got a flat, doh! No spare tubes so they came home. Did I mention I was toasty warm at home?

    1. I did surprisingly well early and I didn't even have the big guns out yet. That little bit of warmth right on my chest makes a huge difference.

      The guys did well even with the flat tire. I draw the line or at least attempt to at 50 degree rain.

      Home is a pretty nice place to be with cold rain outside!

  3. Is it called the "Swan Ride" as it may be the last ride of the year? It looks like you got an excellent turnout. How are you liking the tail bag?

    1. We miss witnessing the swan migration. Our home is within a mile of the Mississippi River and we almost always witness the spring and autumn flights since the river is a flyway. So far this season, I've not heard their trumpeting as they pass overhead. It's a lovely, not quite eerie sound in the early or late light of day. They typically are way up there, much higher than the geese level off at.

      I'm really enjoying the bag and it's been on almost every trip. Yesterday was the first time with anything edible or drinkable. It has proven very useful.